Monday, May 08, 2006

Recognising justice

I'm absolutely delighted to see Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin encouraging four men accused of kidnapping a dissident Republican to submit themselves to the court. (They failed to turn up at court last week).

This is important for two reasons. The first is that, to my knowledge, it's the first time that SF has publicly indicated support for, and submission to, the criminal justice system in the 6 counties. The second is that they're encouraging what are quite possibly PIRA members to turn themselves in.

This is a huge step for Republicans, yet it merited only a sidebar feature on the BBC News website. Unbelievable. Anyway, for people who like the 'choreography' epithet so often applied to the Ulster peace process, this is Gerry and Martin stepping out boldly onto the open dancefloor.

I hope Unionists have the sense to reward this move quietly with some rapprochement of their own.


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